Thirimanne the bunny, and Ashwin-Jadeja v Kumble-Harbhajan

R Ashwin has dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne 12 times in 18 innings across international matches
India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Nagpur, 1st day November 24, 2017

A no-contest

When R Ashwin dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne in the morning session, not many would have been surprised. After all, this had already happened 11 times previously in all international cricket - six times in ODIs, five times in Tests, and once in T20Is. It is the most times he has dismissed any batsman, and the most times any bowler has dismissed Thirimanne in international cricket.

Since the start of 2010, only two bowler-batsman pairs are higher in this list: Mahela Jayawardene-Saeed Ajmal, and Mohammad Hafeez-Dale Steyn. Both Thirimanne and Ashwin feature once more in the top five - Thirimanne has been Anderson's bunny as well, while Ashwin has had plenty of success against David Warner as well.

In terms of frequency of dismissal, though, the Ashwin-Thirimanne one is better than any of the other entries in the top five. Of the 18 times that Ashwin has bowled to Thirimanne in internationals, he has dismissed him 12 times, which is a frequency of one dismissal every 1.5 innings.

Ashwin v Thirimanne in each format
Format Runs Balls Outs Ave
 Tests  60  151  5  12
 ODIs  75  138  6  12.5
 T20Is  2  5  1  2

The Ashwin-Jadeja partnership

For the 24th time in a home Test, Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were a part of India's team, and as usual, they wreaked havoc on the opposition batsmen, combining to take 7 for 123 to bundle Sri Lanka out for 205. In these 24 Tests, they have combined to take 273 wickets at 20.94, with 22 five-wicket hauls between them. In these 24 matches, these two bowlers have taken 64% of India's bowler-wickets; the other bowlers have combined to take 155 scalps at 33.35.

Ashwin and Jadeja, in the home Tests they've played together
Bowler Tests Wkts Ave 5WI
 R Ashwin  24  149  21.78  15
 Ravindra Jadeja  24  124  19.91  7

Ashwin+Jadeja v the other bowlers in these 24 home Tests
Bowler Tests Wkts Ave 5WI
 Ashwin+Jadeja  24  273  20.94  22
 The rest  24  155  33.35  1

Those numbers compare favourably with those of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. In the 34 Tests they played together for India, they took 356 wickets at 27.23, with 30 five-fors. They combined to take 66% of the total bowler-wickets in those Tests, and, like Ashwin and Jadeja, were significantly better than the other bowlers combined.

Kumble and Harbhajan, in the home Tests they played together
Bowler Tests Wkts Ave 5WI
 Anil Kumble  34  201  25.57  17
 Harbhajan Singh  34  155  29.38  13

Kumble+Harbhajan v the rest in the 34 home Tests
Bowler Tests Wkts Ave 5WI
 Kumble+Harbhajan  34  356  27.23  30
 The rest  34  187  41.40  4

Karunaratne's special year

Sri Lanka would have been much happier had Dimuth Karunaratne gone on to a bigger score than his 51, but those runs were enough to make him only the second batsman to get to 1000 Test runs in 2017, after Dean Elgar. Elgar has 1097 runs in 20 innings, compared to Karunaratne's 1000 in 23. Karunaratne has faced more deliveries than any other batsman in Tests this year, though - 2212 to Elgar's 2162.

Top run-getters in Tests in 2017
Player Inns Runs Ave Balls 100s
 D Elgar (SA)  20  1097  54.85  2162  5
 FDM Karunaratne (SL)  23  1000  43.47  2212  3
 HM Amla (SA)  20  942  49.57  1733  3
 CA Pujara (INDIA)  15  925  66.07  2017  3

For Karunaratne, 2017 has been a watershed year: his previous best aggregate in any year was 769, from 21 innings in 2015. He has also been Sri Lanka's leading Test batsman in 2017, in terms of runs, average and hundreds.

Sri Lanka's top run-getters in Tests in 2017
Player Inns Runs Ave 100s
 FDM Karunaratne  23  1000  43.47  3
 LD Chandimal  21  742  39.05  2
 N Dickwella  19  725  40.27  0
 BKG Mendis  20  669  33.45  2
 MDK Perera  19  472  29.5  0
 WU Tharanga  16  430  28.66  1
 AD Mathews  15  402  26.8  0

Chandimal's 3000

The top-scorer in Sri Lanka's innings, Dinesh Chandimal, had a personal milestone to celebrate too, becoming the 13th Sri Lankan batsman reach 3000 Test runs. That would be a small crumb of comfort, though, given the way the team collapsed after winning the toss.

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